November 2017

San Diego representatives attending the G.I.R.L. convention included (standing, from left): adult delegates Leslie Catanzaro, Linda Sanchez, Makenna Lang, Michelle Wilkinson, Pam Levin, Kassie Panian, Rebecca James, CEO Carol Dedrich, girl delegates Amira Walia, Jaddin Thomas, Ana de Almeida Amaral and Mychal Johnson, and adult delegates Jeni Barajas and Karla Halvorson; and (seated) Girl Scouts Sophia Morrison, Serena Jones (alternate delegate), Kylie Williams, Kaiolena Tacazon, Maria Burritt (delegate) and Nora McDougall.

National convention mobilizes members

More than 10,000 individuals shared best practices and gained insights about Girl Scouting at G.I.R.L. 2017, Girl Scouts of the USA’s 54th national convention in Columbus, Ohio (blog). Board Chair Regina Buckley led our contingent of official girl and adult delegates and representatives-at-large. The delegates also took part in a council voting session, where they helped shape national policy. In addition, GSUSA presented our group with a special commendation for increasing membership numbers, an accolade we credit to everyone who helped us connect and build stronger relationships with volunteers and girls.
Highlights ranged from interacting with a NASA robot to meeting accomplished public figures. First daughters Barbara Pierce Bush and Chelsea Clinton, Olympians Gabby Douglas and Sasha Cohen, Muslim Girl founder and editor Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, and Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, were among session presenters. They held panel discussions about topics like entrepreneurship, leading with empathy and collaboration, and how to take a stand on global and domestic issues.
The key takeaway was the roll-out of the G.I.R.L. Agenda — a nonpartisan initiative to inspire, prepare and mobilize girls and those who care about them to lead positive change through civic action. The multiyear effort celebrates the Girl Scout legacy of civic engagement programming, with elements including a new Good Neighbor badge and tools for girls and adults to be catalysts for change. I invite you to encourage members of all ages to explore this invaluable resource.

Yours in Girl Scouting,

Carol Dedrich signature
Carol M. Dedrich, MBA, CFRE
Chief Executive Officer

Sue Major joins national board
Longtime Girl Scout volunteer and supporter Sue Major is now a member of the GSUSA Board of Directors. She was elected to a three-year term during the national convention, where 1,058 delegates represented 112 councils. In addition, she will serve on the national board development committee.
Sue — a technology industry pioneer who holds two patents in wireless messaging — is the founder and CEO of Major Executive Search, an international firm with clientele ranging from Fortune 500 companies to startups. Sue, who is part of a three-generation Girl Scout family, is a past member of our local board, where she chaired the development committee and served on the board development committee and executive committee. Sue is the recipient of our 2016 Courage, Confidence and Character Award for volunteer service and leadership that has a significant impact on Girl Scouts San Diego’s success.

She and her husband, John Major, co-chaired the 2016 Urban Campout fundraiser, for which Major Executive Search was the platinum sponsor. The Majors are Juliette Gordon Low Society and Promise Circle members, and our 2012 Promise Circle honorees.


National donation of $1.2 million has local match benefit
We are thankful to San Diego residents and Girl Scout friends Dianne Belk (founding chair of the national Juliette Gordon Low Society) and Lawrence Calder for their generous $1.2 million contribution to Girl Scouts! Together with GSUSA, the couple is using this gift to launch a groundbreaking planned giving challenge open to all councils.
With your support, Girl Scouts San Diego can benefit from this unprecedented nationwide opportunity. You can help us qualify to receive a local planned gift by becoming a member of the Juliette Gordon Low Society, which celebrates individuals who include Girl Scouts San Diego in their estate plans. For more information, contact Gift Planning Officer Merle Brodie at (619) 610-0804. 

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Girl Scouts: the world's best leadership program for girls
Research proves that Girl Scouts’ single-sex, girl-centered environment creates a setting where girls thrive. They develop a strong sense of self, step outside their comfort zones, and build the bravery and resilience that comes from taking risks, learning from mistakes and trying again. Compared to their non-Girl Scout peers, Girl Scouts earn better grades and have higher academic and career aspirations. They are also more likely to enter professions in business, law or the STEM fields, where women are traditionally underrepresented.

Girl Scouts of the USA CEO Sylvia Acevedo outlines these unparalleled benefits in a recent USA Today article that responds to Boy Scouts’ decision to open its program to girls. 


Sara Fletcher makes a solar oven while other campers learn archery.

Volunteers set to lead outdoor programs
During our recent Outdoor Skills Weekend at camps Winacka and Whispering Oaks, more than 220 adults took a detour from guiding girls to enjoy their very own “learn-by-doing” adventures (album). Participants gearing up to expand outdoor leadership experiences for girls included Sara Fletcher and her adult daughter Lauren. Sara, who led Lauren’s troop 27 years ago, recently returned to Girl Scouting to co-lead her granddaughter’s Daisy troop. Sara selected the Game Sampler and Storytelling options, as well as the STEM and the Outdoors session, where she made a LED flashlight and tried her hand at solar cooking. In addition, she completed the Let’s Camp certification course.
“This is a great way to get our troop ready to be out and about, camping and exploring,” reported Sara. “I also really enjoyed the campfire. Hanging out with other leaders and singing songs I hadn’t heard in ages was a very nostalgic and wonderful feeling!”

Upcoming trainings

Finish Chelsea's Run: discounts available until Nov. 10
Ready … set … sign up now for Finish Chelsea’s Run in Partnership with Girl Scouts San Diego! The eighth annual event is set for Saturday, March 3 in Balboa Park. Participants will start the day with the 5K (or “short and sweet,” one-mile course), then stay for a family festival. Register as a team or individual by Friday, Nov. 10 to enjoy early bird discount rates. More than 8,000 attendees are expected for this popular run/walk, which honors the memory of Chelsea, a former Girl Scout, while raising money for college scholarships and Girl Scout programs. 

Featured events
Stuff the Bus (councilwide food drive) — Saturday, Dec. 16

Finish Chelsea's Run — Saturday, March 3
Operation Thin Mint Sendoff SM — Friday, May 4
Urban Campout — Friday, Sept. 14